Welcome to another edition of Book Beat! We’ve got a lot to talk about this week, dear readers, and first on that list is none other than NEW HARRY POTTER BOOK OMG!!
J.K. Rowling announced yesterday that Harry Potter and the Cursed Child wouldn’t just be available for consumption as a play, but that readers could pick up a hardcover copy of the script on July 31, 2016. It’s a decision I know I’m not alone in welcoming: many fans would be unable to see Cursed Child in London because of extravagant travel expenses and ticket prices. The release of the script as a book provides us all with a chance to experience the magic of Harry’s world again, on equal footing. And yes, having a midnight book release again will be a delight, especially for this reader who never got to experience one during the peak Harry Potter years. Clear your schedules now, everyone.
Rowling’s announcement did manage to bump a surprising development between two famous series this week. The YA and paranormal romance worlds are all abuzz from news of Sherrilyn Kenyon suing Cassandra Clare for plagiarism regarding the Shadowhunters series. Both authors exert considerable pull within their respective genres, with Kenyon’s series dating back to 1998 and Clare’s first Shadowhunter novel coming out almost a decade later in 2007.
Kenyon has brought the suit forward to ask for damages stemming from Clare’s use of the term Shadowhunter and creation of a brand based on an idea similar to Kenyon’s Dark Hunters series. Courtney Milan has uploaded the legal documents pertaining to this case, where readers can see the accusations laid out and the similarities detailed between the books. YA Interrobang breaks down the case in layman’s terms, supporting what Milan and many other readers have already pointed out: both series are based on an idea that isn’t unique to either author, and is a staple of the paranormal genre. It will be interesting to see how this case plays out and how it might affect the publishing industry.
On a happier note, remember Marley Dias’ campaign to find and collect #1000BlackGirlBooks? I’m happy to report that Marley has surpassed her goal! Barnes and Noble contributed to the drive, adding to the $2500 worth of books sent in by Kelly Jensen through a fundraising drive on Stacked Books.
Thanks to the book drive’s success, Marley will be able to share some of her own favourite books, including:
…award-winning Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson, One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia, Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson and I Love My Hair by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley.
It’s my hope that Marley and other readers will be joyfully inundated with more black girls in literature in the years to come.
One possible source of those stories might be Harlequin Teen. The publisher announced the launch of a new imprint called Seventeen Fiction, which will focus on stories of “empowered female characters” and issues that teens are facing. Melissa de la Cruz’s newest novel, Something In Between, will be the first book published under the imprint.
Something in Between tells the story of a family of Filipino immigrants, and their daughter who discovers that her family is in the United States illegally. It’s a hard and emotionally wrought story to read, but one that is timely and necessary for teens today. Realistic contemporary stories featuring characters of colour? Sign me up any day.